Six girls squashed inside my mother’s Standard 10, Boosted my status. We rocked it like…

Six girls squashed inside my mother’s Standard 10,

Boosted my status.

We rocked it like rough mothers

With a recalcitrant child,

To jolt a faulty starter-motor,

And piled back in.

My Humber 80 had more style

That two-tone beauty.

Perfect for a 60s girl,

Eighteen, in a coloured pic,

Crimplene dress, short, in lolly pink,

Christchurch to Hanmer Springs,

A big slow adventure.

The Anglia with cut-back window,

Sage green; a sensible car for marriage.

I’d had a boyfriend with a yellow one.

The sweet lad paid my flight

Christchurch to Wellington,

True love extracting money from his pocket.

We sang Beatles songs – Yellow Submarine,

As we drove round Oriental Parade.

Grey Cortina, 1964,

Functional for a happy family

We and three children,

Seat-belt free,

Bounced around with rugby gear

Squashed biscuits and matchbox cars.

Unaware a family could break,

While driving.

Tan Mazda,

A car for divorce.

Held growing kids and me,

The Maz loved to trick us.

They, forced to duck to avoid possible sightings by friends

When dodgy fuses led to unscheduled stops,

On hills, at the lights, on country roads,

While I fiddled the fuses.

The orange Hillman, 70s style,

A car for courage against impossible odds,

Took five of us from Whangarei to Tarawera,

Her roof rack bowed with luggage.

Hilly never recovered.

I should have had more sense.

Sold for $500 cash,

Notes that felt like drug money,

Fenced on the way home,

At the supermarket.

Our choice; walk or my boyfriend’s Lada,

A solid brick of a car.

Communist, no style

Or power steering,

The kids wouldn’t be seen in that

Even I had a little pride.

The white Holden was

A car for more sense and independence,

Fit for teenagers to be seen in.


They somehow learned to drive.

Traumatized, they don’t trust me now,

Behind the wheel.

All have better cars than I ever did.

My rattly red Nissan gets me around town.

Elegance in age?

Electric, new, shiny blue,

In my dreams,

But I’m not old yet.